𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗿𝗮 𝗕𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗟𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗘𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗘𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗛𝗮𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿 (𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟭𝟮, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬)
East Hampton, March 6, 2020
People who know me will tell you I’m not a person who likes to speak ill of others, but there comes a time in life when not speaking up against untruths and allowing anyone to be bullied with false accusations can no longer be tolerated. For me, that time arrived last week with Jerry Larsen’s outrageous letter to The Star, full of so many inaccuracies as to be worthy of a true work of fiction. I would like to clarify a few points.
First, for a very long time village law has not allowed “fast food” establishments, and for a very long time has worked well at eliminating any proliferation of the fast-food chains in the village. Dylan’s Candy Store, which is not a restaurant and does not have seating, met the definition of fast food when it wanted to sell ice cream. They applied to the village to be allowed to serve ice cream and their application was granted by the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals. They’ve been serving ice cream ever since.
The village board had already made a decision to take garbage cans off the beaches, which we did last summer. They will not be back on the beaches this summer in our continuing effort to keep our beaches clean. That decision was made in conjunction with the East Hampton Town Trustees, who have jurisdiction over the beaches.
The inns in the village are all in pre-existing, non-conforming locations, which means that they were already in operation prior to zoning. Because they are in residential neighborhoods their expansion is strictly regulated because the village is committed to protecting the residents in the neighborhoods surrounding them, restricting the noise and traffic that would accompany many of the expansions of such use. The present village board is open to some changes in the restrictions on their use, and is open to granting permission for some amenities that will not disturb the peace and quiet of the residential neighborhoods surrounding them. But our residents and the peaceful enjoyment of their homes are always our first priority.
The village board has previously purchased hybrid vehicles for their fleet. However, when it was suggested years ago that the police department could use hybrids, the department quickly nixed the idea because the technology was not yet at a place where they were appropriate for police work. Now the technology has improved, and we are able to purchase them for the police department. I believe the village should be on a plan to phase out fossil fuels, and replacing vehicles with electric is a priority.
I have no desire to address all of Mr. Larsen’s sad campaign accusations, but the facts are the facts, and the public has the right to know that he has never been one to be bothered by facts.
I prefer to deal in facts such as these:
Jerry Larsen was a problem employee from the moment he took office as chief of the East Hampton Village Police Department.
Chief Larson was required to attend sensitivity training due to racially charged comments he made at a public event (from the microphone), which resulted in police officers from neighboring departments calling for his resignation.
Chief Larsen spent more time in executive sessions with the village board than any other employee, in attempts by the board to counsel him that inappropriate behavior by a department head would not be tolerated.
Chief Larsen was disciplined for numerous instances of poor judgment, which included mishandling of his police budget, and the inappropriate personal use of his village-issued cellphone and vehicle.
Chief Larsen was asked to divest himself of his interest in his security business, which was becoming a conflict of interest with his work. He promptly transferred his interest to his wife, and continued to run it anyway.
Jerry Larsen’s continuous breach of sound ethical practices in his conduct as chief of police finally resulted in the village board informing him that his contract would not be renewed. However, in consideration of his many years as an employee, he would be allowed to retire and was presented with the traditional proclamation. Jerry Larsen’s response was to file a frivolous lawsuit against the village as an act of revenge. This lawsuit was summarily dismissed by the court. It’s unfortunate that his attempts to exact revenge have cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Despite all this, in his quest to gain more power in the village, he decided to run for the position of mayor. Since he lives in the town, not the village, and has for his entire adult life, he needed to establish residency so he rented a small apartment on Newtown Lane where he could pretend to live. Then he began attending village board meetings and formed an election platform from all the issues that were being addressed by the board at the time (Herrick Park, downtown revitalization, sewage treatment, parking, etc.). Who is following whose lead?
Now, he is in the process of trying to exact his final revenge against the only two members of the board (who voted to let him go) who are still active, by spreading lies and rumors as well as trying to take credit for everything the board is acting on.
I trust that the village residents know that the only type of leading Jerry Larsen is doing is to foster his own personal interests because he has proven that time and time again. The village deserved a better chief of police, which we now have. (Statistics clearly show incredible increases in patrols and enforcement since our present chief took command.) And the village deserves a mayor with more integrity, who actually lives in the village, and pays village taxes like every other property owner.
East Hampton Village trustee